Socialist Worker

Solidarity on London Underground

Issue No. 2123

The result of the ballot of 2,500 London Underground maintenance workers at the Metronet company was to be announced on Wednesday of this week. The workers were voting about striking over the victimisation of health and safety rep Andy Littlechild.

Management suspended Andy, a leading RMT union rep and a member of the National Shop Stewards Network, last month on what the union describes as a “bogus charge”.

Andy was the secretary of the Metronet strike committee during the powerful strike at the company that shut down the tube network in September of last year.

That strike shook the bosses and won guarantees on jobs and pensions as Metronet went into administration.

Facing a charge of gross misconduct, Andy received a final warning at a disciplinary hearing on Monday of this week.

Management was pushing through the appeal process as Socialist Worker went to press.

Activists are concerned at the way that pressure is being placed on union reps as management on London Underground attempt to weaken the RMT.

The ballot of Metronet workers was also over of plans to reduce signals maintenance and attempts to impose rosters.

Tube workers could strike on Wednesday of next week if there is not a satisfactory outcome in Andy’s case.

This would take place alongside thousands of striking bus workers, bringing London to a virtual standstill.

The disputes have brought the RMT members and bus workers in the Unite union closer together.

Paul Brandon, a Unite rep at Holloway bus garage, recently spoke at a meeting of RMT members in London.

The RMT members voted to donate £500 to the bus workers’ campaign.

Paul told Socialist Worker, “Rank and file representatives from the tubes and buses are coming together to improve the lives of working people.

“We have pledged to work together on future issues.”

Supporters of Andy were set to lobby Metronet headquarters in central London on Wednesday of this week.

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Tue 14 Oct 2008, 18:24 BST
Issue No. 2123
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